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Canada creates one of the world’s biggest conservation areas to protect ‘The Last Ice Area’

Source: dfo-mpo.gc.ca/PierreCoupel

As Arctic melt accelerates, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces protections for Canada’s last-ice area, Tuvaijuittuq.

Tuvaijuittuq poised to become one of the world’s biggest conservation areas

Canada’s federal government has announced a new conservation area off the northwest coast of Ellesmere Island in Nunavut. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travelled to Iqaluit on Thursday, Aug. 1, to announce the creation of Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area. Tuvaijuittuq, which in English means “the place where the ice never melts,” is also known the “last-ice area,” as it’s expected to retain year-round sea ice until 2050, even as sea ice declines elsewhere in the Arctic.

The primary goal of the Tuvaijuittuq MPA is to protect and conserve biological diversity, structural habitat, and ecosystem function while additional information is collected to inform the appropriate conservation tools for long-term protection. Ongoing research activities in the area will be allowed to continue, providing the foundation for the evidence-based assessment of long-term options. — image © Christine Michel
2019 Multidisciplinary Arctic Program (MAP) ice camp in Tuvaijuittuq The primary goal of the Tuvaijuittuq MPA is to protect and conserve biological diversity, structural habitat, and ecosystem function while additional information is collected to inform the appropriate conservation tools for long-term protection. Ongoing research activities in the area will be allowed to continue, providing the foundation for the evidence-based assessment of long-term options. — image © Christine Michel Source: dfo-mpo.gc.ca/ChristineMichel

Two Arctic reserves protect more 427,000 square kilometres (165,000 square miles) of Nunavut waters

Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to Iqaluit on Thursday also marked the completion of the Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area through an Inuit impact and benefit agreement signed on Thursday morning.

Together, these areas cover more than 427,000 square kilometers (about 165,000 square miles), which means Ottawa has now met its goal to protect 10% of Canada’s marine areas by 2020.

The protection status prevents any new activity in those areas for up to five years, through Inuit can still harvest from either region.

“By protecting these vital areas, we are safeguarding our environment for future generations while advancing Inuit self-determination and preserving Inuit cultural practices, languages, and customs,” Trudeau said at the Aug. 1 press conference, held at Nunavut Arctic College.

The prime minister’s visit also comes with news of funding related to those protected areas: $190 million over seven years to build harbours, food-processing facilities and a training centre in the five closest communities: Grise Fiord, Resolute Bay, Arctic Bay, Pond Inlet and Clyde River.

The IIBA for both protected areas aims to promote Inuit stewardship, providing an additional $55 million for Inuit training and employment.

“Finally, Inuit have the tools to do the important work of being the eyes and the ears of [these areas],” said Qikiqtani Inuit Association president P.J. Akeeagok. 

Source: ArcticToday.com

Thanks to the thickness of multi-year pack ice and North America’s last remaining ice shelves, Tuvaijuittuq could become a final refuge for sea ice-dependent species like narwhal, polar bear, walrus, seal and beluga as well as the under-ice algae that fuels the entire Arctic food web. The Last Ice Area is a vital climate adaptation effort. (image©Sophie Galarneau)
Polar bear mother and cub on ice floe in the Canadian Arctic Thanks to the thickness of multi-year pack ice and North America’s last remaining ice shelves, Tuvaijuittuq could become a final refuge for sea ice-dependent species like narwhal, polar bear, walrus, seal and beluga as well as the under-ice algae that fuels the entire Arctic food web. The Last Ice Area is a vital climate adaptation effort. (image©Sophie Galarneau) Source: dfo-mpo.gc.ca/SophieGalarneau
according to a statement from the Prime Minister's Office, or almost the size of Germany, according to the World Wildlife Fund — (image©Pete Ewins)
Eclipse SoundThe allocated area is larger than Newfoundland and Labrador, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, or almost the size of Germany, according to the World Wildlife Fund — (image©Pete Ewins) Source: WWF-Canada/PeteEwins
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq and Qikiqtani Inuit Association President P.J. Akeeagok signed off on the Inuit impact and benefit agreement for the Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area on Aug. 1, during Trudeau’s visit to Iqaluit.
The prime minister’s visit also comes with news of funding related to the protected areas Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq and Qikiqtani Inuit Association President P.J. Akeeagok signed off on the Inuit impact and benefit agreement for the Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area on Aug. 1, during Trudeau’s visit to Iqaluit. Source: ArcticToday/JimBell/NunatsiaqNews
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Iqaluit on Thursday, Aug. 1, to announce the first step in the creation of a long-term protected area in Canada’s High Arctic Basin — the new Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area.
The new Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area (MPA) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Iqaluit on Thursday, Aug. 1, to announce the first step in the creation of a long-term protected area in Canada’s High Arctic Basin — the new Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area. Source: ArcticToday.com
Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area For several years, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, working with the governments of Canada and Nunavut, has led the charge to make Tuvaijuittuq a marine protected area, which comes with an agreement to build a conservation economy to ensure local Inuit communities benefit culturally and economically, as well as environmentally. Source: YouTube/FisheriesAndOceansCanada
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The Arctic—home to diverse wildlife and many cultures—is changing faster than any other part of the planet in the face of climate change. Melting sea ice is already contributing to rising ocean levels worldwide and opening up new areas of the ocean for risky oil drilling. And polar bears, which depend on that ice to hunt seals, rest, and breed, are now more vulnerable than ever. But there’s still time left to help the Arctic and the impacts of climate change. Ultimately, experts agreed on five important ways we can take action. Check them out.